Mike Sarah Oden & Ingrid
Hello! We are Mike, Sarah, Oden, and Ingrid, and we thank you for taking the time to consider our family. Weâ€™re an active bunch who thrives on the outdoors and spending time with our family and friends. We work and play hard together, often times with multiple projects in the works. We have been blessed to have come from families with open homes and hearts. Adoption has played an important role in our extended family and among many friends. We have been blessed through adoption and are excited to continue this tradition. As a family, we are praying for you and your child. You have many strong prayer warriors supporting you. God has the perfect plan for all of us, especially for you and your baby.
Mike & Sarah We are college sweethearts who met while living in adjacent
Europe, and our love story continues. We’re amazed that
apartments of a triplex near the University of Minnesota.
we fall in love with each other a little more each day. If our
We discovered that we both enjoyed exercising and exploring
life were a metaphor, you would call us a sailboat: Mike
the campus and neighboring city parks. We grew as friends,
would be the boat and Sarah would be the sail – we couldn’t
who became more-than-friends, who married each other on
navigate life without each other. One final remark about
a wonderful day in October of 2005. We honeymooned in
ourselves is that we both like lists. »
WATER WE LOVE THE
A LIST OF THINGS WE LIKE:
« BEST TRAVEL
Fellowship with Jesus Our children Relatives and friends Church Gardening Camping Boating Swimming Cooking Exercise Having people over for dinner Board games— especially Scrabble®
OCTOBER 22, 2005
Mike is the full package, a Renaissance man. His list of hobbies and interests astounds me. I love that he moves smoothly between wrestling with our kids and remodeling our home. He improves most everything he touches. He is a fantastic playmate and friend. Faith and family are his top priorities, and he shows it with servant’s hands for helping people. Mike also has a stunning grin!
FAST FACTS ABOUT MIKE OCCUPATION FAVORITE FOODS ANNUAL TRIP DAYDREAMS ABOUT
Mechanical engineer Chipotle and shaum torte Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Gardening and woodworking Splitting wood and making furniture
« DESIGN IT. BUILD IT! »
Sarah has a deep inner strength, genuine interest in other people, and loves adventure. Her hobbies revolve around creating opportunities to socialize. She doesn’t need many worldly things to be happy and satisfied.
FALL IS MY FA VORITE
FAST FACTS ABOUT SARAH OCCUPATION PREVIOUS JOB
Middle school English teacher
Popcorn, salads, and fish
Soup club, Book club, Craft club
« YOGA & RU
The basketball game HORSE
Oden Oden is 4. He is filled with youthful energy and knows how to “push his mother’s buttons”. He is very bright and has an excellent memory for people’s names. He is very interested in knowing who people are, what they do, how they are related to us, and so forth. His favorite place is the family farm.
, WE CAN WE BUILD IT? YES
FAST FACTS ABOUT ODEN FAVORITE FOOD
FIRST WORD FAVORITE AUTHOR JOB ASPIRATION
EASTER EGG TIME
Hammer Richard Scarry Garbage or recycle man
Ingrid Ingrid is a happy bubbly 2 year old. She has the best smile in the world. Every day she wraps her dad around her finger just a little bit more. We love her sense of humor. She is very good at telling the knock-knock joke about the interrupting cow:
I: Knock-knock Mom: Who’s there? I: Interrupting cow Mom: Interrup ...
Ingrid observes and remembers everything. Mike calls her “eagle eyes”. She is the person to ask when you can’t find your keys, and she’s the one who notices when the trail map falls out of the stroller.
FAST FACTS ABOUT INGRID FAVORITE FOOD
DOESN’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT
MANTRA FASHION DON’TS
Me do it! Hair clips and hair ties
Pets Zulé, our husky, was a house dog until Mike and the kids built her a dog house for the backyard. Now she only wants to come in during thunder or fireworks. She loves kids and takes them on sled rides in the winter with her harness. Ophelia and Carmela, our cats, are sisters. They usually keep to themselves and let us know when it is meal time.
RMELA OPHELIA & CA
« ZULÉ BUTTERFLIES LIKE OUR GARDEN!
Home We live in a large, two-story home built in the 1920’s. It has a fenced in backyard to keep the kids and pets close to the house. Behind our garage we have an additional lot where our vegetable garden, prairie garden, and fire pit reside. There is also a hedge of bushes that our children have built into a “fort”.
INSIDE OUR HOUSE
Room LIVING ROOM
Sharing family dinners
WE LIKE OUR
Playing with toys
Reading bedtime stories
Preparing garden food
City Our home is situated in a well-established neighborhood within a city. Our community school is award-winning. Our property is unique because we have six adjacent neighbors. We enjoy conversations across the fence and swapping childcare. We are located less than a mile from the Mississippi River and only minutes away from many lakes, small creeks, and a state park. We spend the summer swimming, biking, and exploring outdoors. When we take advantage of our urban amenities, we visit museums or take the light rail train downtown to the library or farmers market.
DOWNTOWN HISTORIC DISTRICT
WE LIKE OUR CITY BECAUSE Excellent park and rec system Great public radio stations Biggest mall in America Healthiest metropolitan area in the U.S. We get to experience all four seasons
FLOATING HOMEMADE BOATS IN THE CREEK
Country We co-own 60 acres of farmland with Mike’s brother and dad. The farm has been in Mike’s family for more than one hundred years, and we spend many weekends there throughout the year. It is a gathering place for the extended family. His retired grandparents live there and the land is farmed by Mike’s relatives. Adventures abound in the woods, pasture, creek, sledding hill, big garden, corn cribs, and cow alley, all while breathing the sweet county air.
S TRACTOR RIDE
FAVORITE FARM ACTIVITIES Throwing parties in the old hog barn Riding and driving tractors Sledding down the hill Skipping stones in the creek Harvesting the pumpkin patch
MIKE’S FAVORITE VERSE ECCLESIASTES 5:18-19 18
Faith We are a Christian family. God is the creator. Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer. When He is guiding our path, we become resistant to the temptations of Satan. Our relationship with Christ has brought us incredible joy. The Holy Spirit is constantly guiding us on our daily path. The Holy Spirit’s “whispers” tell us what to do, what to plan, and where to go. We are active members of our church. Our family is part of a small group. Sarah is on leadership teams, Bible studies, and gives children’s sermons during Sunday worship services. Mike is an usher. Oden attends Sunday school, and Ingrid loves the nursery. We love that our church has a strong missions focus, and we’ve become friends with missionaries throughout the world. We have family devotions after supper and pray together before meals, nap, and bed.
Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him — for this is his lot. 19Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work — this is a gift of God.
SARAH’S FAVORITE VERSE PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7 6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Extended Family We are richly blessed. Mike has two sisters and a brother; Sarah has one sister. Our siblings live within an hour of our house—so we get together and hang out quite often for fun, babysitting, or helping out on house projects. There are many cousins for Oden and Ingrid to play with, six so far! Our parents live close and like to see their grandchildren, resulting in a packed calendar! Adoption is an important aspect to our extended family. Mike has an aunt, an uncle, and three cousins through adoption. Sarah has five cousins who are adopted and one cousin who is a birth mother.
UNCLES & AU
FUN FAMILY FACTS All of Mike’s siblings work outside the home, and all the in-laws stay home to parent. Sarah’s sister moved 1,000 miles to be in the same city as our family. Mike’s parents are Campus Crusade for Christ sweethearts. Sarah’s parents all like the Green Bay Packers. Mike’s prefers the MN Vikings. Both sets of Mike’s grandparents have been married for over 60 years!
GRANDMAS & GRANDPAS
Activities Weâ€™re an active family. We mostly enjoy being outside. The four seasons dictate where we focus our time. Winter brings sledding, broomball season for Mike, snow forts, board games, and museums. Spring brings walks, planting, and cleaning. Summer brings camping, bike rides, water fun, and gardening. Fall is our favorite bringing rec touch football league for Mike, colored leaves, harvest, and tea time for Sarah.
FAVORITE FAMILY ACTIVITY MIKE SARAH
State park camping Walks
FEEDING CATERPILLARS MILKWEED
Projects We always have multiple projects in progress. Weâ€™ve remodeled one room per year since Mike purchased our home back when he was single and renting to his buddies. Mike is the family woodworker. He Hedesigned designedand andmade madeour ourcrib cribas aswell wellas asone one for each of his nieces and nephews families. Sarah is the family social director. She keeps our life full of play dates, dinner with friends, and family outings.
GOOSEBERRIES & RASPBERRIES FROM OUR YARD
MIKE ALSO DESIGNED AND BUILT A FAMILY HEIRLOOM WITH HIS DAD AND BROTHER. THIS WALNUT BABY CRADLE HAS BEEN USED BY EIGHT HAPPY BABIES IN OUR EXTENDED FAMILY.
FRESH BASIL FROM
OUR GARDEN !
Travel We intentionally take time to vacation and travel. We love creating family memories and exploring. Each year we try to go to new places, and we also like to go back and revisit our favorites. As mentioned earlier, life wouldnâ€™t be complete for Mike without at least one wilderness canoe trip.
Arizona and New Mexico; Wyoming backpacking
Friends and family are often part of our adventures. Sarah’s extended family rents a cabin in Northern Wisconsin for a week every other year, the same resort her dad went to as a child. Sarah’s extended family also has a cottage on a lake, which has been in the family for 85 years. We go there every year as well. Mike’s parents own a timeshare in Florida and are eager to take their grandkids to Disney. Mike’s family also takes wilderness canoe or backpacking trips every few years.
Hungary and Austria; Boundary Waters Canoe trip 2007
Chicago, IL; North Shore of MN; Decorah, IA 2008
Florida Keys; Dallas, Texas 2009
Skiing in northern Minnesota and Canada 2010
St Louis, MO; Resort weeks in northern MN and WI
Colorado backpacking; Maui, Hawaii 2012
State park camping in MN and WI
Holidays Every winter, we take the light rail train to downtown Minneapolis to see the Holidazzle parade and then check out the Christmas display at the top of Macy’s. The Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day Parade is Mike’s favorite parade due to the O’Olson clan banner for the Scandinavians to walk behind. On the fourth of July, we have the tradition of going to a parade, having a picnic (corn on the cob is a must), swimming, and watching fireworks. FYI—Sarah loves parades and the Fourth of July is her favorite holiday. We spend Thanksgiving with one side of the family and alternate every year.
HOLIDAYS— HOW WE CELEBRATE
NEW YEAR’S EVE AND DAY
Celebrate Christmas and New Year’s with Mike’s family
Traditions are big and small at our house. Mike makes eggs with all the fixings for breakfast on Saturdays. We attend church on Sundays. We designate one night per week family outing night. Birthdays are a big deal. Following Sarah’s family tradition, we photograph the birthday child in front of the house by the front door with their cake on a dining room chair — we know it is strange! The birthday child chooses their own birthday meal and theme for a party, while Mike and Sarah surprise each other with home-cooked gourmet meals.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY
Watch parades with Sarah’s sister EASTER
Church, extended family meal, dye eggs, Easter baskets, and egg hunt FOURTH OF JULY
Parade, picnic, swim, eat corn on the cob, grill, fireworks 4TH OF JULY
Bluegrass festival at a local park HALLOWEEN
Costume party, jack-o-lanterns, and trick-or-treats ADITIONS!
Turkey and football CHRISTMAS
Christmas Eve church, grandparents spend the night, Christmas Day stockings (knit by Sarah’s mom), and gifts
Adoption We are called to adopt. When we were newlyweds, we planned to have two kids and then adopt two (just like Mikeâ€™s grandparents did). Then God confirmed our plan. We found out after becoming pregnant with our second child that Sarah has a rare condition that causes her liver to shut down during pregnancy. Because liver failure is a fatal condition, Ingrid was induced six weeks early. We believe the high risk of subsequent pregnancies is Godâ€™s confirmation of our earlier plan to adopt.
We know that through adoption our family will experience much joy and satisfaction as we grow together. We look forward to loving our next child. We believe that adopting a child is an adventure God desires our family to experience.
ART BY ODEN
Letter to birth mom We are grateful for you, and pray for your decisions and health. We desire an open relationship and promise: TO
love our children unconditionally
raise our children as Christians
be open, honest, and respectful as a family
be open, honest, and respectful with you
play and work as a family Respectfully,
Michael and Sarah
Profile Fact Sheet MIKE BIRTHDAY
INTERESTS AND HOBBIES Camping, gardening, cooking, woodworking, scrapbooking, hiking, biking, and reading
PETS 3—Zulé, our husky dog; Ophelia and Carmela, our pair of cat sisters
MARRIED October 22, 2005
OPENNESS We desire an open, honest, honoring relationship where the needs of the child are the focus. We hope it includes fun and fond memory-building experiences.
October 17, 1978 EDUCATION Masters of Science: Mechanical Engineering OCCUPATION Mechanical Engineer
February 14, 1980 EDUCATION Bachelors of Arts: English and English Education OCCUPATION Stay-at-Home Mom
via letters, pictures, email, social media, and visits with the number dependent on distance and life circumstances.
BIOLOGICAL CHILDREN Oden Michael, June 9, 2008 Ingrid Elizabeth, February 24, 2010
WE WILL COMMIT TO ONGOING CONTACT
CHURCH We are active members of a Lutheran Congregations in Missions for Christ church (LCMC).
WE WILL CONSIDER ONGOING CONTACT
We’re open to discussing openness further.
CHILD CARE PLAN Our kids are raised at home with us. SCHOOLING PREFERENCE Award-winning public schools near our home
D WITH HELP WAS CREATE NTS). OUR PROFILE S FUTURE AU STERS, (BABY’ SI UR O ! M O EM FR TH D THANKS TO MUCH LOVE AN S OF OUR ART IS PHOTO FYI: THE CLIP F. ACTUAL STUF
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. JEREMIAH 29:11
We are a happy, outdoor-loving family who is looking to grow our family through open adoption. We're approved to adopt through www.bethany....